Photosynthesis and regulation of rubisco activity in net phytoplankton from Delaware Bay 1
Journal of Phycology
Bacillariophyceae, Bloom, Estuarine, Feedback limitation, Fluctuating irradiance, Photosynthesis-irradiance response, Photosynthetic regulation, Rubisco, Skeletonema costatum
Net phytoplankton (>20 μm) comprised 51 ± 9% of the total chlorophyll (Chl) in a Skeletonema costatum-dominated spring bloom in Delaware Bay. The net phytoplankton had low C:N and high protein : carbohydrate ratios, indicating that their growth was nutrient-replete. Their photosynthetic responses were characterized by low specific absorption, low light-limited and light-saturated rates of photosynthesis, and high quantum yields, indicative of acclimation to low irradiance and internal self-shading. High fucoxanthin: Chl ratios also indicated low light acclimation, but high photoprotective xanthophyll: Chl ratios suggested a high capacity for photoprotective energy dissipation. Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) could be activated and deactivated in response to changes in irradiance and was fully activated at the surface of the water column and fully deactivated in aphotic deep water. Maximum Rubisco activity was correlated with Rubisco content and bulk protein content of the phytoplankton and with light-saturated rates of photosynthesis measured in short (<20-min) incubations. Long (60-min) incubations caused a decrease in the light-saturated rate of photosynthesis, possibly because of feedback limitation. While feedback limitation is unlikely to occur in the water column, it should be considered when estimating productivity in well-mixed waters from fixed light-depth incubations.
MacIntyre, Hugh L.; Gelder, Richard J.; and McKay, R. Michael. (1996). Photosynthesis and regulation of rubisco activity in net phytoplankton from Delaware Bay 1. Journal of Phycology, 32 (5), 718-731.